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What's New in the Focused Performance Site?

Be sure to check out the Focused Performance Weblog, which is updated upon randomly coming across external weblinks of interest.


July 2, 2003

The Caveat Venditor Offer - A unique offer for small businesses who want to become larger.


As mentioned back in September, the Focused Performance Weblog has become an increasingly important part of this site, with almost daily links to and commentary on issues of interest to business owners and managers trying to deal with their constraints. As such, extra features have been added to it, including commenting by readers to make it more interactive, and even a subscription capabilities for anyone interested in receiving updates as they happen either via email or XML/RSS feeds. Check it out.


The FP Bookshelf - An expanded collection of selected and recommended readings on the Theory of Constraints as well as other compatible thinking on organizational effectivness.


February 27, 2003

An Updated Home Page - Featuring links to new pages describing key Focused Performance services:


December 27, 2002

Walk the Squawk -- an Unconstrained Thinking essay on the need for consistent leadership to attain intended consequences.


September 23, 2002

The Focused Performance Weblog has, in the last month, become an increasingly important part of this site, with almost daily links to and commentary on issues of interest to business owners and managers trying to deal with their constraints. As such, extra features have been added to it, including commenting by readers to make it more interactive, and even a subscription form for anyone interested in receiving updates as they happen via email. Check it out.


Stop the Madness!!! -- an Unconstrained Thinking essay on the futility of end-of-quarter (month or year) pushes.


September 4, 2002

TOC and Six Sigma -- A complementary set of tools and techniques that work better together.


(Bench)Marketing -- an Unconstrained Thinking essay on the value of benchmarking your customers instead of your competitors.


July 22, 2002

Devils and Angels, an Unconstrained Thinking essay on managing the details and the architecture of your situation.


Top 10 Sources of Project Failure -- A list you'll never probably see on Letterman.


June 18, 2002

Using TOC to Avoid Disappointment in Improvement Programs, is a new paper based on a presentation at the recent annual conference of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (and is available for professional association dinner meetings, or in longer form, as the basis for a new executive seminar.)


Solutions for Small Businesses. If you consider yourself a small or very small business, and wonder if you can take advantage of the processes that have so benefitted larger firms to make yourself bigger, check out the first of a planned set of pages aimed at your needs. Then contact Focused Performance for a free assessment of your potential.


New service offerings from Focused Performance:


Three new Unconstrained Thinking columns on the benefits of turning little problems into big ones (yes, I wrote that right), dealing with the dreaded organizational politics, and probably most important, putting (and keeping) some joy into your work. Plus, just squeaking in for the second quarter of 2002, the third quarterly issue of the Unconstrained Thinking Newsletter.


February 16, 2002

There's been way too much time passed since the last update -- I guess that's what comes from being busy with clients -- so aswe had last November, there's a number of updates to regular features listed below, but also another newly scheduled workshop, providing a one-day overview of TOC and the solutions it can provide for your organization (This workshop is hosted by the Princeton, NJ section of ASQ, who also sponsored it a year ago, and decided to repeat it due to popular demand).


There's four -- count 'em, four -- new Unconstrained Thinking columns on strategy, root causes, planning (or the failure to do so), and shooting from the hip.


A sneak preview of a work in progress -- a Quicktime movie of the slides for a presentation on going "Beyond the Fishbone" for root cause analysis of complex systems.


Some more notable quotes that have not yet been categorized. My favorite of the new bunch . . .

Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. - Sir John Harvey-Jones

Check out the others on the main quote page.


Frank Patrick, founder of Focused Performance, will be presenting a paper on Using TOC to Avoid Disappointment in Improvement Programs at this year's Institute of Industrial Engineers Solutions Conference as well as one on Risk Management at the New Jersey PMI Symposium, both in May of 2002.


November 1, 2001

There's a whole lotta new stuff going on this month, starting with a newly scheduled workshop on daily problem-solving tools from the toolkit known as the TOC Thinking Processes. You've read about them here. Now use them to break free of conflicts and dilemmas, improve ideas with constructive scrutiny, and plan to succeed with ambitious objectives.


Unconstrained Thinking - The Newsletter -- The Unconstrained Thinking column you may have seen in your professional association newsletter has grown into a newsletter of its own. Sign up for a once-a-quarter jog of your grey cells.


A couple new Unconstrained Thinking columns on the roots of disappointment in improvement programs and on some oxymoronic concepts that are too common in too many organizations.


The Quotes page has grown with enough new commentary that it has required a categorized multi-page presentation.


The original PMI Symposium 2001 paper, Buffering Against Risk -- Risk Management and Critical Chain has been added to the site. I would far prefer that you read the expanded version - Critical Chain and Risk Management - Protecting Project Value from Uncertainty -- but for purposes of reference, here it is.


October 15, 2001

Critical Chain and Risk Management - Protecting Project Value from Uncertainty -- Project management is the practice of turning uncertain events into certain promises. If so, then project management is an extended excersie in risk management. The core concepts underlying Critical Chain-based project management directly support risk management and are described in this paper, expanded from one presented at PMI's 2001 National Symposium.


An atypical Unconstrained Thinking column; responding to the tragic events of September 11, 2001.


August 15, 2001

Two new Unconstrained Thinking columns; one on why you need slack for effectiveness and can't rely on the ax for efficiency and another on the effect of putting 10 pounds of planes through the five-pound pipe that is Newark International Airport.


May 22, 2001

At the Institute of Industrial Engineer's (IIE) 2001 Solutions Conference in Dallas, Frank Patrick, founder and principal consultant of Focused Performance, presented a paper on Taking Advantage of Resistance to Change..., which is now found in the site, along with downloadable pdf files of the text of the paper and its associated presentation handout.


February 21, 2001

Seeing the Jim Jarmusch film, Ghost Dog (which has a lot to say itself about the honor of loyalty owed by hired help, be it a consultant or a hit man, to his or her client), combined with a longtime fascination with Japanese culture, I was compelled to read The Book of the Samurai, by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. In it, I found a wealth of ideas on the subjects of constraints, action, and honor. They, along with a slew of other new tidbits from folks ranging from Buckminster Fuller to Buckaroo Banzai, have been added to the Focused Performance quote page. Enjoy!


Another new Unconstrained Thinking column; this one on why you need to break rules to make new ones


February 4, 2001

A new Unconstrained Thinking column on why you should consider turning your strength into your weakness


January 21, 2001

A list of Frequently Asked Questions on Critical Chain-based project management


January 9, 2001

Project Portfolio Management - The First Cut is the Kindest Cut - One of the common problems faced by project-oriented organizations is having too many projects relative to their capacity. Therefore, one of the first things that needs to be done is to determine what can be done is to determine what should be done . . . and what should not be done . . .

A listing of Events -- presentations, workshops, and conferences on the Focused Performance calendar


December, 2000

Another new look, getting rid of the old bright yellow design that some people said hurt their eyes. After all, if style gets in the way, then the substance might not be appreciated.

Speaking of substance, the site also has added . . .

A new page on Strategy, describing the expected desired effects of a constraint-based long-term strategy for sustained success.

A recommended list of TOC references and readings.

A series of short writings, under the heading Unconstrained Thinking, suitable (and available) for use in professional society newletters as a regular column.

Additions to the collection of quotes aimed at breaking through the "doors of perception" that maintain intertia in organization.

Access to a Focused Performance-sponsored email discussion group on Critical Chain Scheduling, Buffer Management, and the TOC solution for Multi-Project Management

A cool new Focused Performance Weblog, featuring frequently added links to thought-provoking items out in the wide world of the web. (Powered by Blogger.)


Previous Updates

Consumption of Effort and Conservation of Energy for Project Success -- An essay on the necessity for managing protective capacity in multi-project environments to get the most organizational throughput from the efforts of project resources.


The site has been redesigned, with easier navigation and improved crosslinks between pages, not to mention added and updated content:

A paper on TOC Multi-Project Management that was presented at the PMI's Philadelphia Symposium. . . Program Management - Turning Many Projects into Few Priorities with TOC.

Information on an exciting new program for developing true cross-functional alignment and performance offered by Focused Performance.

New entries in the posting archive on a variety of topics, including a detailed summary of the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes and a piece on Speeding Up Change when introducing new production management processes.


Access to a pdf file of a paper based on a "best of show" poster presentation on Getting Out From Between Parkinson's Rock and Murphy's Hard Place . The poster presentation that this paper is based on was honored with a "best in show" award at a regional PMI symposium sponsored by the New Jersey Chapter of PMI. Later it was publshed as the first article on the topic of Critical Chain project management in PMI's PM Network magazine.


Special links between the page on Project Management and the archive of postings related to the topic, including a new "quick-and-dirty" intro to Critical Chain basics.

Added new site entry page featuring recent changes so that repeat visitors can easily jump to what is new.


It's all new! Initial launch of this site, including intro to Focused Performance as a resource for the application of the Theory of Constraints for performance enhancement and problem solving.

It is content, or rather the consciousness of content, that fills the void. But the mere presence of content is not enough. It is style that gives content the capacity to absorb us, to move us; it is style that makes us care. - Tom Robbins

This page is focused primarily on changes to the Focused Performance site itself. Be sure to also check out the Web Log for more frequently added links to interesting items out beyond the borders of this site.

Any suggestions for additional information for this site is welcome via the comment page.

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